Green Tea Ingredient May Promote Healthy Weight Loss

Green tea is one of the best things you can drink if you're concerned with health and weight control. Alternative health specialists have known this for years, but now science confirms that an ingredient in green tea may promote fat loss and weight loss.

Here are the stats on this tea as a dietary supplement:

Primary effects: Disease Prevention and Management; fat loss
Typical Dose: 4 cups of tea per day, or 690 mg catechins per day
Side Effects: None

Need another healthy reason to drink green tea? Aside from fighting heart disease, cancer, and other diseases, a new study shows that drinking green tea may also fight fat.

Black tea, oolong tea, and green tea all come from the same plant: Camellia sinensis. Green tea leaves simply are not fermented before steaming and drying. Most teas, including the three mentioned above, contain large amounts of polyphenols, which are plant-based substances that have been shown to have antioxidant, anticancer, and antiviral properties. However, as noted above, green tea is particularly rich in the type of polyphenols called catechins. These substances have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties, but recent research in animals show that catechins may also affect body fat accumulation and cholesterol levels.

A recent study showed that people who drank a bottle of tea fortified with green tea extract every day for three months lost more body fat than those who drank a bottle of regular oolong tea. Researchers say the results indicate that catechins, which are substances found in green tea, may trigger weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories and decreasing body fat.

In the study, the two groups ate virtually identical diets and followed similar exercise programs. However, the group that consumed green tea extract with 690 milligrams of catechins lost double the weight in three months’ time (5.3 pounds versus 2.9 pounds). BMI, waist size, and total body fat all dropped, showing a significant difference between the group that had the catechins and the group that did not. In addition, LDL or the "bad cholesterol" dropped in the individuals who drank the green tea extract. These findings appear in the January 2005 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The catechin content varies by amount of green tea used and steeping time. But general recommendations, based on previous studies on the benefits of green tea, are to drink at least 4 cups a day. The extract is also available as a supplement. According to researchers, the results indicate that catechins in green tea not only help burn calories and lower LDL cholesterol but may also be able to mildly reduce body fat.

If you are interested in drinking more of this super-tea, simply pick some up at your local supermarket. Remember, in this study 4 cups per day were used; however, it's possible you'll still achieve the weight-loss benefit with less. Nonetheless, green tea is a very healthful drink aside from the weight loss benefits.

If you don't want to drink 4 cups of green tea per day but are interested in supplementing with the extract, check out a supplement.

Contact us with your green tea questions

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